For businesses seeking recognition as separate legal entities, New York law allows them to undergo the process of incorporation. An incorporated business acts in its own name, whether buying and selling property, assenting to contracts or exercising legal rights. To incorporate in New York, a business must file with the Secretary of State in compliance with certain guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in New York
A corporation enjoys benefits that unincorporated companies do not. Primarily, it cannot be held accountable for an amount of debt greater than the value of the assets that the owners have invested in it. If the business had remained a personal asset of the owners, they would run the risk of losing their personal property to pay for the company's financial liabilities in case of default. Furthermore, banks in the Nassau County area prefer to evaluate the credit worthiness of a business as a whole rather than that of individual owners. This makes the process of acquiring corporate loans simpler. Finally, the ownership of a corporation is divided into an abundance of equal portions or "shares" of stock. Without this mechanism, transferring ownership of a business would be impractical.
Costs of Incorporation
These advantages come at a price. First, incorporation in New York may require a filing fee. Second, a corporation pays taxes just like any other entity. In other words, the profits a corporation makes are now taxed separately, while any disbursements to shareholders are taxed as individual income. This is called double taxation. However, a business may avoid this disadvantage with proper planning and assistance from a local Nassau County lawyer.